Interview With a Postpartum Doula
Updated: Dec 7, 2019
And now for something a little different! I think a lot of people are familiar at this point with what a labor doula does, but did you know that there are doulas who specialize in different areas? Recently there was an article making the rounds about postpartum doulas and their popularity with millennial parents (see the article here) - I sure wish I had known they existed with my boys! I decided to seek out some info on our local options so I spoke to doula Sondra Rodocker. Sondra is a Certified Postpartum & Infant Care Doula here in Little Rock and as the owner of Arkansas Family Doulas she is a very qualified source to answer my questions. So without further ado, here we go!
Sondra, how do you define a postpartum doula?
"A postpartum doula is someone who comes into the home to help you navigate through the transitions of bringing baby home, recovering from birth and they are there to support your family as a whole."
What are the benefits of hiring a postpartum doula?
"Hiring a professional can help ease any fears or insecurities a family may have about bringing a new baby or babies home. Mothers have a chance to recover and rest, partners have a chance to not feel so overwhelmed with everything and systems to help the family function better as a unit can be set in place and executed early on."
How long do you work with families that you assist?
"As long as they feel they need us, we are there. For some families it's a few weeks and for some families it's the first year of their baby's life."
How did you discover you wanted to be a postpartum doula?
"As a lactation consultant I was seeing a need for continued care and support for families. Once breastfeeding concerns were resolved, a lot of my clients would continue to reach out to me for support. They were missing someone being there for them and reminding them of how strong and how amazing of a parent they are."
What is your postpartum doula philosophy?
"I don't have one. I come without judgment or bias to support families in whatever way they need."
How long have you been a doula and how did you become one?
"I've been a Doula for almost 7 years. It all started with a training and some research."
Do you think there will be an increase in this line of work as more attention is given to mom's postpartum mental health?
"I do. A lot of people don't even know we exist, kind of the same as postpartum mental health issues. I truly feel postpartum support in the home can help aide in the decrease of prolonged postpartum mental health issues. We are trained to recognize the symptoms and how to help get our clients the resources they need. Postpartum Doulas are a valuable asset to those who are living with postpartum mental health issues."
What is the best part of being a postpartum doula?
"Seeing parents grow and thrive! Seeing families reach their goals, seeing parents well rested. I could really go on and on. There isn't much I don't love about this job. It truly is the best and it's an honor that families trust my expertise to help them get off on the right foot with support."
Thanks, Sondra, for your insight into this awesome support system for families! If you'd like to learn more you can check out Dona International or check out the services offered through Arkansas Family Doulas.